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Thu, Oct 05, 2023

Intuitive Machines Opens Lunar Production and Operations Center

New Houston Facility to Produce Nova-C Lunar-Lander

Intuitive Machines, LLC—the Houston, Texas-based supplier of space products and services germane to human exploration of Earth’s moon, Mars, and beyond—has opened a Lunar Production and Operations Center on Texas’s Houston Spaceport.

The newly-opened 105,572-square-foot facility, which will serve as the operations center for Intuitive Machines’s lunar program, features offices, meeting areas, conference-rooms, advanced manufacturing and production spaces, 3D printing areas, machine shops, research and development laboratories, clean rooms, and large-scale spacecraft assembly areas conducive to the contemporaneous manufacture of multiple spacecraft and lunar-landers.

Unique to the facility are mission control rooms and a propulsion test installation known colloquially as the flame range. The latter is a unique structure comprising a 3,800-square-foot reinforced concrete chamber surrounded by a 25-foot-high perimeter wall enclosing an additional 6,500-square-foot yard. The flame range enables Intuitive Machines personnel to ensure the company’s propulsion systems meet the stringent requirements set forth by NASA and its partners.

The proximity of the test installation to Intuitive Machines’s manufacturing operations occasions numerous advantages, such as the ability to produce on-demand engine prototypes and parts. By collocating its headquarters and testing facility, Intuitive Machines has actualized otherwise impossible degrees of design, testing, and manufacturing agility.

Intuitive Machines’s Lunar Production and Operations Center—construction of which commenced in June 2021—will serve as a pivotal bridge between Earth and moon, enabling, ostensibly, safe, efficient, and sustainable human and robotic space exploration.

During a press conference announcing the facility’s opening, Intuitive Machines confirmed its first lunar-lander, dubbed Nova-C, will be shipped from the Houston Lunar Production and Operations Center in the coming days.

Intuitive Machines founder, president, and CEO Steve Altemus stated: “The Moon is no longer a distant dream; it’s a destination within our grasp, and this facility is our lunar gateway—a national asset. We’re proud that the United States' return to the Moon will have Houston, Texas, stamped on the shipping container that will leave this facility for launch, and we look forward to working under a roof that matches the technical excellence our employees demonstrate each day.”

Intuitive Machines vice-president of production and operations Jack Fischer remarked: “The opening of Intuitive Machines’ facility at the Houston Spaceport was made possible by the tireless support of teammates like Burns & McDonnell, the Houston Airport System, and Griffin Partners. The thought and support provided by our partners built a perfect home that can grow with us, removing barriers for our company to reach its potential. In that spirit, we’ve left several walls that are simply white; they are empty pages in a future history book. One which we look forward to writing from our new home in Space City.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared: “Houston has always been a city that reaches for the stars, and with Intuitive Machines operating at the Houston Spaceport, our city is poised to shine even brighter in the cosmos. Aerospace is more than a source of pride for our city; the innovation here is just another example of why the Houston economy is thriving. Intuitive Machines is fueling high-paying jobs, fostering innovation, and attracting talent and investment from every corner of the world.”

Mario Diaz, director of aviation for Houston airports, set forth: “Today’s celebration confirms that Houston is home to the fastest-growing commercial spaceport on the planet, and is also home to the first and only 5-Star airport in North America. The skies and the stars are fast converging, and the merger is reshaping the way we think about travel, innovation, and human potential. We are delighted to join Intuitive Machines in endeavoring towards a future where humanity’s reach extends even further than we can dare to imagine today.”

Burns & McDonnell CEO-elect Leslie Duke asserted: “When your business is lean and your goal is to be the first private company in history to land on the moon, your only choice is to pioneer something new. Our work is always about more than buildings; it is about solving our clients’ challenges. While Burns & McDonnell is not designing or constructing lunar-landers, we have built the propulsion, processing, testing, technology, research, and manufacturing facilities needed to empower Intuitive Machines to focus safely on opening access to the moon for the progress of humanity.”

FMI: www.intuitivemachines.com

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